Alpe d'Huez is a thriving year-round resort. The main town sits at 1869m above sea level, at the centre of the Oisans region in the French Alps. At its highest point, the resort reaches up to 3300m on the Pic Blanc glacier. Its reputation for having the most days of sunshine on the ski slopes in a year has given rise to its nickname 'l'Isle du Soleil' or The Island of the Sun.
WHERE TO SKI
Covering an area of 10,000 hectares, Alpe d'Huez boasts 249km of linked pistes spanning an altitude range from 1450m to 3330m. On top of this, there are two snowparks, a boardercross park and a halfpipe.
If you are travelling from outside of France, then flying into Grenoble, Lyon or Geneva is likely to be the quickest way to get to Alpe d'Huez. Alpe d'Huez is then a bus ride or private transfer (taxi or minibus) from these main hubs, unless you’re driving yourself.
Grenoble is the closest airport (1.5 hours) but flight options are limited and can be more expensive, whereas Geneva has a greater choice of airlines offering better value flights but is a longer commute to resort (3 hours).
You can also get the fast TGV trains to Grenoble or Lyon but there are no dedicated “snow-train” services for Alpe d'Huez. (Read more about trains below).
Our insider’s tip for Alpe d'Huez is to use Geneva Airport; it’s closer than you may realise (for example, you’d use Geneva for Val d’Isere and it’s roughly the same distance and transfer time). The cost of a transfer will be pricier from Geneva so make sure you compare the total cost of flights and transfers for your party to see which airport is best for you.
In winter, there are five main airports you could fly into (see below):
Grenoble is the closest airport, so seemingly the natural choice. Nevertheless, demand and therefore flights are highly seasonal, and even in high-season supply is limited. Ski tour operators use Grenoble as they can charter seats or whole flights. Flights to Grenoble can be a more expensive choice (but compensated for by cheaper transfers and shorter transfer times).
Geneva Airport is extremely well connected from most UK and European cities, year round. Did you know that it takes the same amount of time to get from Geneva to Val d’Isere or Tignes as it does to Alpe d'Huez? Flights to Geneva are much more competitively priced because of higher passenger volumes and you can pick up Swiss chocolate and fancy Swiss watches on your way through! For these reasons we don’t think you should overlook it.
Lyon Airport is also a viable option, sitting somewhere between Grenoble and Geneva in all respects - geographically, for passenger and flights volumes, flight pricing, and transfer times.
Chambery Airport is where most Tour Operators fly into in winter although you can get independent flights here too. Once you’ve arrived, we recommend you take a private transfer to resort as this is easier and faster than taking lots of connections on public transport.
Turin Airport, despite looking close to Alpe d'Huez on the map, is much trickier to get transfers from in winter. The roads over the mountain passes can get really snowy, so our current advice is to avoid Turin Airport for Alpedhueznet.com if you can.
Once you’ve arrived at the airport you’ll need a transfer to Alpe d'Huez, which you can do via private taxi or minibus, hire car, coach, train or public buses. Travel times vary for each airport, as do the respective transfer costs.